Two anti-government Iraqi protesters killed in clashes with security forces
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Two anti-government Iraqi protesters killed in clashes with security forces

Altercations on two strategic bridges in Baghdad leave at least 36 wounded, say officials; one protester shot dead, another dies when tear gas canister hits his head

Anti-government protesters stage a sit-in on the Ahrar Bridge, in Baghdad, Iraq, November 20, 2019. (Khalid Mohammed/AP)
Anti-government protesters stage a sit-in on the Ahrar Bridge, in Baghdad, Iraq, November 20, 2019. (Khalid Mohammed/AP)

BAGHDAD — Renewed clashes overnight in Baghdad between anti-government demonstrators and security forces killed two protesters, security and hospital officials said Thursday.

The altercations on two strategic bridges in the capital also left at least 36 people wounded, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. Both bridges appeared to be calm by morning hours.

One protester was killed when security forces used live rounds to repel demonstrators on Ahrar Bridge. The other protester was killed when a tear gas canister was fired, hitting him in the head, on Sinak Bridge.

Protesters have been occupying parts of Baghdad’s three main bridges — Sinak and Ahrar and Jumurhiya — leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government.

At least 320 protesters have been killed and thousands have been wounded since the unrest began on October 1, when demonstrators took to the streets to decry rampant government corruption and lack of basic services despite Iraq’s oil wealth.

The leaderless movement seeks to dismantle the sectarian system and unseat the government, including Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

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